Swamp Skiin' Throwdown
Written By: Bryan Konietzko
Directed By: Seung Hyun Oh
Storyboard By: Michael Chang, Joel Crawford, Seung Hyun Oh
Animation By: Moi Animation
(The Foggy Swamp. Day. A scaly back breaks the dismal surface of the swamp. A falling leaf hits the water, the water turns bright blue, and the scales surface to reveal ol' Slim the cat-gator. Pan upward to see Due, Tho, and Sokka on dry land. Sokka, with his back turned to us, is busily engaged in some heavy industrial project.)
Tho: Sokker. Shouldn't you be doin' somethin' fun? Or manly?
Sokka: (clapping his finger to Tho's lips) Pay attention, simpleton. This (rapturously) is a water filtration device. (Cut to the water filtration device, a makeshift contraption of leaves, sticks, and hollow gourds. Sokka runs to demonstrate.) See, your filthy swamp water sits in this hollowed-out pumpkin, then the sunlight makes the water evaporate, leaving behind the swampy impurities!
Tho: (nonplussed) You mean the flavor?
Sokka: (standing over the pumpkin, pinching his nose in disgust) Yes, genius. It leaves behind the filthy swamp flavor. Then the clean water vapor collects on the leaf, and drips into this nice, sanitized cup. (Sokka seizes the cup, which is full, drinks, and is transported to paradise.) I do love clean water!
Aang: (offscreen) Whadja say, brain boy? (Cut to Aang, who has somehow acquired a Foggy Swamp accent as well as a bathing costume, and is water skiing [or "swamp skiing"] behind a boat powered by the waterbending of an enthusiastic Foggy Swamper.) Yew love water? Yee-haaaa!
(Aang speeds past Sokka, drenching him with an artfully waterbended wave and destroying his water filtration device in the process.)
Tho: Whatchoo gonna do now?
Sokka: (furious) Whaddayou think I'm gonna do, leaf-head? I'm gonna rebuild my water filtration device!
Tho: (indignant) Boy, that there's a swamp skiin' throwdown. You can't be playin' with pumpkin juice when there's a throwdown! It just ain't manly.
Sokka: But -
Tho: (enormous red face) THROW DOWN!!! (Sokka is literally bowled over.) Hey Due! Get the boat - (But Due has anticipated him and is standing at his side, boat at the ready.) WE'RE GOIN' SWAMP SKIIN'!
(Sokka, wearing a green Foggy Swamp bathing suit, has water wings stuck to his torso by Due and Tho.)
Due: Safety first!
(They provide a pair of skis and Due hoists Sokka into the air, preparing to squeeze his feet into them. The skis are infested, however, with creepy-crawlies and Sokka manfully resists, repeatedly swinging his legs out of the way.)
Tho: (fed up) Get yer dang feet in the skis or I'll strap ya to ol' Slim instead!
(Cut to the cat-gator, who at the moment is crushing a large pumpkin between his toothy jaws. The juice splashes Sokka in the face. Resigned, he submits to the skis, though not without cringing and turning blue in the face.)
(Due and Tho are manning the boat. Due calls back to Sokka.)
Due: You ready?
(Pan to Sokka, who sits miserably in the water at the end of the towrope.)
Tho: (to Due) Hit it! Throwdown.
(Due whirls his arms in the singularly inelegant Foggy Swamp style of waterbending and they are off. As the boat speeds forward, Sokka is jerked out of the skis and bounced along the surface of the water. He quickly loses his grip and is left behind. Aang zooms by, frisking and leaping on his skis. Sokka's head slowly rises to the surface as Due and Tho pull up.)
Tho: This time keep your knees bent and your tuchus tucked.
Due: (pointing) Speakin' of your tuchus, looks like ol' Slim's got your pants!
(Cut to ol' Slim, who has indeed got his snout tangled in Sokka's swim trunks. Sokka is mortified and crouches down to hide his nakedness in the water.)
(Second attempt. This time, instead of bouncing on the surface of the water, Sokka is pulled underneath. He surfaces, only to discover that he is riding along on ol' Slim's back. The cat-gator does not tolerate this arrangement for long and turns on Sokka, jaws gaping. Sokka manages to escape, but again, not with his swim trunks, which ol' Slim seems obsessed with. Clinging to a tree limb, Sokka is again shown up by Aang, who executes a sweet jump in Sokka's face.)
(Third time's the charm? After losing a ski, Sokka loses control as Due turns a hard 360. In a now-familiar pattern, he is deluged by Aang while clinging to a tree. Cut to Appa, who has given the swamp skis a try himself and is now coasting expertly along, giving Katara and Toph, in bathing costume, a ride on his head. Aang skis up alongside and in a graceful move, cartwheels up onto Appa's head between the two girls. Momo swoops down to join them and it is now official: everyone is having fun but Sokka.)
(Late afternoon. The swamp is bathed in red and gold. Pan down to an exhausted Sokka who bubbles to the surface and asks plaintively...)
Sokka: Guys? Can I get out of the water now?
Tho: (stone-faced) You tell me. (to Due) Hit it! (They speed off. For the umpteenth time, Sokka is jerked from the water and dragged along the surface, but to his amazement, he suddenly realizes that he is in fact successfully swamp-skiing.)
Sokka: I - I - I did it! (looking hearts) I'M SWAMP SKIING! (exultantly) I LOVE SWAMP SKIING!!! (Zoom outwards to a view of the swamp from outer space, from where Sokka can still be heard. Zoom inwards again to Sokka, who is joined by Aang.)
Sokka: In your face, airboy! Who's swamp skiin' now?
Aang: Nawt yew!
(Aang bends a jump made of ice directly in Sokka's path. There is no time for him to swerve and Sokka is catapulted high above the forest canopy, carrying Due, Tho, and boat along with him. They fly a good distance through the sunset sky, turning over once, and finally crash into a tree.)
Sokka: (sliding down the trunk of the tree, face to bark, voice muffled) I hate swamp skiing.
(Ol' Slim leaps from the water and pulls Sokka's trunks off, revealing a very sore little red behind. Due and Tho jump from the bushes, arms outstretched.)
Tho: (ecstatically) OOOOOO!!! Now that was a THROWDOWN!
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